This morning those lovely folk at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire asked me to participate in a discussion about the rise in brides giving speeches at weddings. They’d noted that it was a rising trend on the Andie Harper show, a discussion-based programme which invites a high level of listener participation, and wanted to know whether their listeners thought it was a good new trend or that we should stick with tradition. I was invited to give my perspective on the trend, and wanted to extend the conversation here.
The most important point to get across is that it is YOUR wedding so you make the rules! Once the actual legalities are covered, you can decide which traditions to stick with or you can break them all. I don’t think this is a feminist issue by the way, more one of the couple going with what feels right to them. As I mentioned in the interview, the ONS states that around only 30% of wedding ceremonies are now religious and we find this tends to dictate whether couple’s tend to stick with tradition, not exclusively, but certainly in most cases.
There’s nothing wrong with tradition. Personally, I wouldn’t want anyone but my dad to walk me up the aisle if he was there, but actually in weddings anything goes for this, church or otherwise. We’ve seen mothers, brothers and even the chief bridesmaid walk a bride up the aisle, sometimes due to circumstance, sometimes due to pure choice.
The same should go with the speeches. We’ve heard some wonderful speeches from brides who wanted to have their say – if you want to ladies then go for it! Sometimes a bride just wants to say her own thanks or make a tribute to someone dear to her who is no longer around. Occasionally we meet a Groom who is so shy he can’t bear to get up and speak, so why shouldn’t the bride then speak on their behalf? You could even do the speech together which makes for a really lovely touch and can be even more emotional.